The tribes of Fans and Favorites are no more after a tribal mix up. The newly formed Malakal faced Tribal Council and, with their tribe split evenly between four Favorites and four Fans, it was clear that either a Fan or a Favorite would have to flip. Joel and Erik, angered by Chet's dismal performance in the challenges, agreed Chet's time was up and tried to join the Favorites in voting him out to keep the new tribe strong. But Chet and Tracy, upset with Joel's poor sportsmanship and bullying, joined forces with Cirie to stop Joel and Erik's targeting of the weak players. Upset that she was included as a 'weak' player and concerned she could soon become targeted, Cirie lobbied to Amanda and Ozzy to keep the less threatening and disposable Chet in the game and get rid of Joel, the tough gamer and physical threat to all.
At Tribal Council, Cirie's plan worked. As she did with Yau-Man, Cirie once again convinced her tribe to send home someone who threatened her game, and Joel was voted out of the new Malakal 6 votes to 2. Dazed, Joel leaves his final words: "The tribe picked Chet. Over me. A little bit humiliating. Insulting. Wow. I don't understand why you would want to keep somebody like Chet. It's just very, very confusing. I'm angry, I think I'd like to wring a couple people's necks right now, but I'm stunned."
Outcasts Prevail At Airai, Jason feels disheartened after his friend Mikey was voted out at the previous night's Tribal Council. "I have a bad feeling that we're just going to keep losing and losing and losing," Jason complains. "I feel that the tribe I'm in is not the tribe I want to be in." Chet and Tracy, on the other hand, congratulate each other on staying in the game despite constant targeting at Tribal Council. "Another one bites the dust and it wasn't us," Tracy gloats, as the two outcasts set their sights on voting Jason out next. After being annihilated by the Favorites in both the Reward and Immunity Challenges, the Fans once again found themselves at Tribal Council on Day 11. Joel, the mastermind of the Mary blindside, faced a difficult decisionâ€”risk losing future challenges by voting out Mikey, a strong competitor but a major threat to his game, or strengthen the tribe in challenges by getting rid of Chet, a physically weak player who poses little threat to him.
Ozzy and the Idol As the Favorites prepare Charlie, one of their chickens, for lunch, Ozzy sneaks away from the temporarily distracted group. He stashes the Hidden Immunity Idol that he found on Exile Island in the cave, out of the way and out of sight. "I totally trust James, and I think I can trust Amanda, and I know I can trust Parvati," he says. With complete faith in the couples' alliance, Ozzy excitedly informs the members he has the Immunity Idol; the powerful weapon is now in their arsenal. Upon hearing the news, Amanda exclaims, "[The couple's alliance] we're like the powerhouse right now."
Tribal Switch-Up As the Fans and Favorites arrive at what they suspect is a Reward Challenge, Jeff Probst makes a surprise announcement: "It's time you got to know each other. Drop your buffs. We are switching tribes." The shocked and anxious Survivors draw rocks to decide team captains for a school-yard pick. Ozzy draws the purple rock for Malakal and Natalie draws the orange rock for Airai, giving them first choice of the contestants. Alternating, Survivors will choose teammates, but Fans must choose Favorites and Favorites must choose Fans. Natalie, without hesitation, selects James for the new Airai tribe, and Ozzy in turn picks Joel, matching James' strength on the new Malakal tribe. As the tribes shake out, the new Malakal consists of Ozzy, Amanda, Cirie, Ami, Joel, Erik, Tracy, and Chet. The new Airai tribe members are Jonathan, James, Parvati, Eliza, Alexis, Natalie, Jason, and Kathy. "We are no longer tribes of Fans vs. Favorites," declares Jeff Probst. "We are now Malakal versus Airai."
Reward Challenge: Cat and Mouse After tossing the tribes their new buffs, Jeff Probst reveals they will compete immediately for Reward as new tribes. Jeff explains the rules. Tribe members will be divided into pairs and harnessed together. Each round, a harnessed pair from one tribe will chase a pair from the other tribe through a muddy obstacle course, attempting to grab a flag off the opposing tribe's back. Each time a pursuing pair successfully gets a flag they score a point for their tribe. To make things interesting, the chasing pair has only 60 seconds to capture the other tribeâ€™s flag. If they fail to do so, the fleeing tribe scores the point. First tribe to three points wins Reward: a steak barbecue with all the fixings, wine, and spices. To give the new tribemates a chance to get to know each other, no one will be sent to Exile Island.
First up, Erik and Ozzy from Malakal chase Airaiâ€™s Natalie and Kathy. In no time, Ozzy snatches Kathyâ€™s flag, scoring the first point for Malakal. Eliza and Parvati chase Joel and Chet around the course. Slipping in the mud, Eliza accidentally smacks Parvati in the face with her elbow, giving Parvati a fat lip. But they still manage to capture Chetâ€™s flag as Joel pulls him through the course, scoring the first point for the new Airai. In the next few matches, the injuries continue to pile up when something rips through Jonathanâ€™s kneecap and Malakalâ€™s Ami tweaks her knee jumping over a fence in the course. In the final round, with the teams tied 2-2, itâ€™s a rematch between Joel and Chet and Parvati and Eliza. This time Joel and Chet do the chasing, but Chet is unable to maintain Joelâ€™s pace and Joel, frustrated, drags Chet like a rag doll through the muddy obstacle course, while screaming at him to keep up. With seconds remaining on the clock, Eliza and Parvati narrowly elude Joel as he dives for Parvatiâ€™s flag. The new Airai tribe wins their first challenge and a huge reward of steaks, veggies and wine.
Saddled with Chet Defeated, the Malakal tribe returns to the old Favoritesâ€™ beach. Joel is livid with Chet's performance in the challenge. "Maybe this is poetic justice of some form because I chose to get rid of Mikey versus Chet," says Joel in disgust. "Now here I end up with Chet again on my tribe, who's probably the weakest of both tribes." Ozzy shows off the Malakal camp to the newcomers who, at the sight of the shelter, chicken coop, and dry cave, start to believe they could become a very strong tribe. But even with the new energy in camp, Ozzy is apprehensive about Chetâ€™s presence at Malakal. "Chet, he's like a sack of potatoes," moans Ozzy. "In the challenge, he freaking gave up." Meanwhile, Chet finds new friends in the tribe's chickens. He likens their real-life pecking order to the game of Survivor, vaguely aware that he has already been targeted as the tribe's biggest liability, saying, "The weakest one is pecked on until they're removed from the tribe."
A Feast and A Nighttime Visit Airai returns to their camp, jubilant after their victory and excited about the evening barbecue. The tribe salivates at the sound of sizzling meat as the aroma of grilling steaks fills the air. But things donâ€™t work out the way they planned. The Fans had originally built their campfire and shelter unknowingly on the tide line of the beach. "Oh my God! Here comes the water!" screeches Eliza, as a wave crashes onto shore, dousing the fire and nearly wiping out their Reward dinner. With sand flies jumping at their feet, the fire out and the wood drenched, James can't believe the poorly organized Fans, exclaiming, "I'm amazed they're still alive, poor things. They should be dead!"
As the tribe settles in with full bellies, Jonathan's injury from the challenge turns serious. The Survivor Medical Team arrives in the dead of night to stitch up the puncture below his knee. During the painful operation, Jonathan grits his teeth to endure the agony. He speculates, "There could be an infection and it could work down towards the joint of my knee. So let's hope it doesn't get worse."
Two Superpowesrs At Malakal, Ozzy gives fishing lessons to his new tribemates, Joel and Erik. The three spend some time strategizing. "I think we have a really strong tribe aside from one person," says Ozzy to Joel. "I'm just thinking Chet." Joel counters, "I tell you what, if you're willing to get rid of Cirie first I got no problem giving up Chet." Erik watches the negotiations, describing it as "two superpowers discussing terms." The one thing the three men agree on is that it is imperative that they find a way to keep the tribe strong. "It is to a degree still Fans versus Favorites," explains Joel. "But either the Favorites have to swing a Fan over to their side, or the Fans have to swing a Favorite over to their side. Somebody's going to have to flip."
New Tribe, New Shelter Jonathan, James, Parvati, and Eliza take charge leading the new Airai tribe in clearing a bigger living area and shelter away from the waterâ€™s edge. Skilled Survivors after their previous seasonsâ€™ experiences, the Favorites quickly erect a solid shelter. The Fans are excited to have an upgraded home and new life in the tribe. "The new members of Airai, I mean, they're just on it," Natalie respectfully admits. "They're quick, they'e making it happen, it's getting done and it's brilliant."
Shark Steak Anyone? As the Malakal tribe prepares a meager breakfast of chicken feed, theyâ€™re surprised by yells from the beach. â€œHey guys look what I caught!â€ hollers Amanda as she strolls into camp lugging a shark that sheâ€™s wrestled out of the fishing net. Ozzy instantly lights up, impressed by his amour, Amanda. He gushes, â€œShe basically wrestled a 4-foot shark by herself! Thatâ€™s pretty attractive to a guy like me.â€ Cooking up the giant shark steaks for breakfast, the new Malakal is determined to do well in the challenge.
Immunity Challenge: A Stone's Throw At the Immunity Challenge, four members from each tribe will alternate throwing rocks at suspended ceramic tiles, breaking them to release four bundles of wooden puzzle pieces. Collecting all four bundles and handing them off, three other tribe members will race to assemble the pieces with help from a caller on top of a tower. The first tribe to solve their puzzle wins Immunity and is safe from Tribal Council.
The Challenge begins with the new Malakal taking an early lead, nailing their four tile targets and quickly collecting their puzzle pieces. Jonathan, James, Jason and Alexis of the new Airai arenâ€™t as lucky. Although they connect with the targets, they donâ€™t hit them hard enough to break them and canâ€™t release their puzzle pieces. However, Chetâ€™s poor direction as Malakalâ€™s caller and Joelâ€™s disruptive interjections begin to slow Malakal down. Airai finally smashes their tile targets and collect the puzzle pieces, getting back in the game. Eliza, Airaiâ€™s caller, spots a pattern in the puzzle and directs Natalie, Parvati, and Kathy with their last pieces. Airai comes from behind to win Immunity and send the new Malakal to Tribal Council.
Chet and Joel With Tribal Council looming for the new Malakal tribe, Erik and Joel decide to get rid of their weak link once and for all. Agreeing to give up a Fan, they promise to vote out their former tribemate, Chet, in order to keep Malakal strong. "It's almost like [Chet's] a wet rag, or a ball of goo," complains Joel about Chet's inability to compete. "If you went back to Medieval times I think we'd kill him ourselves." But as Chet's name gets tossed around as the obvious vote for the night, Cirie is unsettled. "Erik seems to think we should get rid of the weaker players in the tribe," explains Cirie. "Which is fine with me except I'm included in the [group of] weaker tribe members." She quickly checks in with Chet and Tracy. As they complain about Joelâ€™s distracting and bossy performance in the tribe, which they believe cost them Immunity, the three decide to turn the tables on Joel. "Let's take his ass out," cries Tracy. With three votes solid against Joel and wanting to protect herself and her fellow weaker players, Cirie tries to convince Amanda and Ozzy to vote out Joel moments before they depart for Tribal Council. "There are so many plusses for getting rid of Joel. Chet is just like a pawn," explains Cirie. "We can use Chet for whatever we need, whenever we need." Ozzy is not convinced that losing strength in the tribe is a good idea but agrees to consider Cirieâ€™s plan to oust Joel. "This is an incredibly important vote tonight," says Ozzy. "Chet in challenges, he is a waste of space. On the other hand, Joel wants to win challenges. But Joel wants to win the game really bad. Joel is dangerous. It's a hard decision."
Tribal Council At Tribal Council, Chet is criticized for having performed badly in the challenge. Tracy comes to his rescue, calling out Joel as a poor teammate when he dragged Chet through the mud during the Reward Challenge. Chet pipes in, "I felt like I was harnessed to a Mack Truck and drug through a forest." In the end, Cirie's plan to protect the weaker members of the tribe, and herself down the road, works. A completely stunned Joel is sent home as the fifth person voted out of SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA â€" FANS VS FAVORITES.